Themes of love, pain and poverty are prevalent in this collection of poetry by famed rap artist Tupac Shakur. His handwritten and illustrated poems (complete with misspellings and edits), appear alongside the printed words, making it less intimidating than polished, "scholarly" poetry. This book gets requested by students who love Tupac and poetry – but it also serves as an introduction to poetry for students who claim they aren’t fans. With lines like, “we R 2 young 2 stress and suffer” (from Nightmares), teens can relate to the casual writing style. Most even look like they were written on lined notebook paper, adding to the accessibility of the entire book. This would be a fantastic lead into a poetry unit, or an engaging resource to demonstrate the editing and revising process.
Shakur, Tupac. The Rose That Grew From Concrete. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.